UP OF THE INTER-AMERICAN PROGRAM
THE PROMOTION OF WOMEN'S HUMAN RIGHTS
GENDER EQUITY AND EQUALITY-
II-GENDER AND JUSTICE MEETING
July 30-31, 2002
"Towards Justice with
Recommendations for Integrating a Gender Perspective
into the Programs and Policies of the Ministries of Justice or
Ministries or Offices of Attorneys General of the Americas with
Competence in this Area
Based on the CIM Executive
Committee mandate to mainstream a gender perspective in the Declaration
and Plan of Action of the March 2002 Fourth Meeting of Ministers of
Justice or Attorneys General of the Americas (REMJA IV), and the
commitment made by all OAS member states to approve the Inter-American
Program on the Promotion of Women's Human Rights and Gender Equity and
Equality, adopted by the 30th OAS General Assembly and endorsed by the
hemisphere’s Heads of State and Government at the Third Summit of the
Americas as an effective strategy for integrating a gender perspective
into all policies and actions of member states and of the inter-American
system, the OAS member states are urged to consider the recommendations
described below through their Ministries of Justice or Ministers or
Attorneys General of the Americas with competence in this area.
The Inter-American Commission
of Women (CIM), recognizing the progress achieved in integrating a gender
perspective into the Declaration and Plan of Action of the Third Summit of
the Americas, considers that such measures can only succeed if they are
given continuity and are conceived as policies that must be implemented as
cross cutting issues by the Ministries of Justice or Ministries or Offices
of Attorneys General of the Americas. The Permanent Council of the OAS is
urged to consider the recommendations set forth below in carrying out the
mandates received at the Bridgetown General Assembly to implement the
REMJA IV recommendations and develop a hemispheric Plan of Action to be
approved at REMJA V.
These recommendations are the
product of a two-day meeting of experts in gender and justice sponsored by
the CIM. Although not obligatory or binding on the member states, these
recommendations should be considered and integrated as appropriate.
II. RECOMMENDATIONS FOR
INTEGRATING A GENDER PERSPECTIVE INTO THE POLICIES, PROGRAMS, AND
ACTIVITIES OF JUSTICE MINISTRIES OR MINISTRIES OR OFFICES OF THE ATTORNEY
GENERAL WITH COMPETENCE IN THIS AREA
All States Parties are asked to
ensure that their respective ministers of justice, or ministers or
attorneys general, with competence in this area, disseminate the
recommendations contained in this document.
To ensure that the needs and experiences of
women, as are those of men, are taken into account, a gender
perspective as a cross-cutting issue should be integrated into all
policies and programs related to justice systems of member states.
To urge those States Parties that have not
yet ratified the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of
Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and/or its Optional Protocol
and/or the Convention to Prevent, Punish and Eradicate Violence
Against Women (Convention of Belém do Pará), to consider
ratification of those instruments. Once ratified, State Parties are
urged to create mechanisms to implement and disseminate them and adapt
national legislation in keeping with those instruments.
Promote the compilation by member states,
in their systems of justice, of data disaggregated by sex, age,
disability, and ethnic origin, or any other relevant category.
Promote cooperation between member States
in the areas of paternity and equality of boys and girls before the
law regardless of type of filial relationship with their parents;
alimony, child support, custody, and international adoption.
Promote cooperation between legal research
institutes in the member states and institutions specialized in this
area, such as CEJA and ILANUD, so as to encourage the exchange of best
practices, and formulate and implement programs designed to facilitate
equal access of women to the justice system.
Regarding Theme I of the REMJA IV recommendations, Legal and Judicial
Cooperation in Combating Transnational Organized Crime and Terrorism,
it is proposed that cooperation be expanded to other issues of equal
importance, through the following actions:
Promote legal and judicial cooperation in
the areas of irregular international adoption of children; trafficking
in persons, especially children and women, for sexual or labor
exploitation, sale of organs; or trafficking in persons for any other
purpose; and on the rights of victims and other related areas.
Regarding Theme II of the REMJA IV recommendations, Information
Exchange Network for Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters, the
following actions are proposed:
Incorporate data on situations and crimes
where women are the principal victims in the region’s Information
Exchange Network, such as cases of trafficking in persons, forced
prostitution, sexual crimes and exploitation, sex tourism, domestic
violence, paedophilia, gender-based violence, among others.
In addition, to incorporate into the region’s
Information Exchange Network data to identify the perpetrators of
crimes such as trafficking in persons, forced prostitution, sexual
offenses, paedophilia, inter alia, in order to prevent any
With respect to Theme III of the REMJA IV recommendations, Enhancing
the Administration of Justice, the following actions are proposed:
Investigate access to justice for women of
different ages, capacities, ethnic backgrounds etc., in order to
prepare proposals to guarantee this right.
Evaluate services, from a gender
perspective, offered by governmental and nongovernmental centers so
that in the registry of alternative means of conflict resolution it
may be indicated which services are most sensitive to gender issues
and to violations of women's human rights.
Promote incorporation of a gender
perspective into education and training programs on alternative means
of conflict resolution such as: dialogue, negotiation, mediation, and
other similar mechanisms.
Consider differential conditions for prison
populations with respect to gender, age, ethnic origins, disabilities,
religion, and sexual orientation, in order to ensure the respect and
enjoyment of the human rights to which those deprived of liberty are
Address the comprehensive needs of women in
prisons and detention centers, among them, health, employment,
education, and reproductive and sexual rights.
Record acts of gender violence committed by
prison employees and implement mechanisms for reporting, preventing
and punishing this type of violence, with particular attention given
to violence against women.
Conduct, with the
assistance of experts in this area, a country-by-country study on the
situation of women in prisons and detention centers to promote the
formulation of social rehabilitation programs in a framework of
respect for and protection of their human rights.
gender perspective in pro bono legal services.
programs to disseminate basic knowledge on substantive and legal
procedural matters of mayor interest to women.
Regarding Theme IV of the REMJA IV recommendations, Cyber Crime,
the following actions are proposed:
To accord priority, in preparing and/or
updating national and inter-American juridical instruments and model
legislation on cyber crime, to crimes where women and children are the
principal victims, such as trafficking in persons, forced
prostitution, child prostitution and child pornography, pedophilia, inter
Integrate the gender perspective in all
legal considerations on privacy, protection of information, crime
prevention, and procedural aspects.
reate appropriate mechanisms for reporting
and investigating sex-related cyber crimes, and other cyber crimes
particularly affecting women and children, so that they are reported
and impunity in this connection is avoided.
appropriate measures to prevent and punish sex-related cyber crimes
and other cyber crimes, particularly those affecting women and
children, and establish provisions to dismantle their networks.
Regarding Theme V of the REMJA IV Recommendations, Justice Studies
Center of the Americas (CEJA), the following actions are proposed:
Invite member states to support, through
voluntary contributions, technical cooperation, and information
exchange, CEJA’s efforts to implement strategies to integrate a
gender perspective in its programs, projects, and activities.